Rene Lopez’s music is so catchy so full of melodies, that it will instantly brighten your day, as will his sublime lyrics. That was my impression after hearing his EP Let’s Be Strangers Again, and checking out his YouTube videos. I’d found out about him initially from a promo given to me by Girlie Action, a very savvy music company, and was so taken with what I heard that it has been on my iPod in heavy rotation for weeks. In other words, it’s been one of the best albums I’ve heard all year.
I recently interviewed Mr. Lopez by email and I hope you like what he has to say as much as I did, and I liked it a lot.
Andrea Weiss: Who are your influences?
Rene Lopez: Prince, Jorge Ben, Tim Maia, Tito Puente, Burt Bacharach, Gilberto Gil, Neil Diamond and Paul Simon.
AW: Would New York be part of your influences? My music is the sound
RL: I hear walking on the sidewalk or taking the train in NYC. That is why it is hard to really categorize what I do. There are so many influences.
AW: Do you feel Latin music is exploding right now, and if it is, how great is that?
RL: To tell you the truth I didn't know it was exploding. I follow the current Latin music scene because most of what I hear is not my cup of tea. I know there is now an Alternative Latin Music scene happening now which I need to dig into a bit.
AW: How did you get started in music?
RL: It was all I ever wanted to do. I can't remember ever wanting anything else. Heard and saw my dad playing music and it was a done deal.
AW: What kind of music did you hear while growing up, since your dad is a musician?
RL: My father was a Latin trumpet player so I heard a lot of salsa and Afro Cuban music in the house. He also had a big record collection so we played a lot of soul, disco, jazz and even fusion music. I was lucky to have a very diverse jukebox spinning in our home.
AW: I love the way you blend Latin music of all types, and rock. Do both come easily to you?
RL: It actually does. Ha!!! To me it all fits together like a beautiful puzzle. I started out as a kid blending funk and Latin. I feel like I have returned to that but it’s much broader now. I dig that there is a Latin influence to my music but I'm not really a Latin artist.
AW: Your lyrics are wonderful. How do you get your ideas for them, and your music?
RL: Wow thanks. I don't get that often. Most people talk about the grooves or vibe of my music. Well all of my lyrics are through my life experience and I think in getting better at expressing that in a poetic way. I really have it together when I'm 90.
AW: What advice would you give a musician just starting out?
RL: If you are not 100 percent passionate about music do not do it. You can not expect anything from the music industry. There is no golden apple. You do it because you would die if you didn't make music.-->